- Bryon Harris
Happy Curmudgeons - "Rustic Glory"
Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier
Detroit's own Happy Curmudgeons return to us once again with the sweet and somber stomp that is Rustic Glory. This Americana-infused folk number observes the topics of reflection and appreciation in the face of a significant loss.
Written by the founder and chief songwriter Dave Hamilton, the song was inspired by the recent loss of his father in May. The song's theme is built around looking back on fond memories of someone who has impacted your life and is meant to serve as a tribute. The band describes Rustic Glory in their own words "It is a song of love, hope, and remembrance."
Founded in 2015 by Hamilton and fellow core members Amy Dixon-Lavery, Jeff Warner & Tumbleweed, the Curmudgeons are backed on "Rustic Glory" by a star-studded cast of legends in the music world. The Happy Curmudgeons are joined by bassist Billy Cox (the Jimi Hendrix Experience & Band Of Gypsys), guitarist Bobby Balderrama (Question Mark & The Mysterians), Jim Moose Brown (Bob Seger Band) on Hammond B3 organ, and Detroit Music Award Winner Todd Glass on drums.
Despite the abundance of eclecticism in the roster, the Curmudgeons stay true to form. They bring equal parts happy and nostalgic as their head-swaying verses are offset by more somber choruses that have become signature to the band's sound. With solid funky grooves, head bobbing acoustic flourishes, soulful organ freak-outs, and enthusiastic popping bass lines, the group polished this sound on "Rustic Glory." The drum sound, in particular, stood out to me at first as it's got a tasty bit of sonic dirt that gives a pleasant and organic vibe to the overall atmosphere.
And like an old friend, Hamilton's earnest, Jerry Garcia-esque vocal returns as he paints pictures with his narration on lyrics such as...
"I woke up this morning thinking just about you. All those things we used to do. I can't put it to rest now. The thoughts that flood my mind. Seems to happen all the time."
Despite the understandably wistful nature of the lyrical content, "Rustic Glory" will get you dancing before you even notice how poignantly bittersweet the song is. The Happy Curmudgeons hope to have their 2nd album out by the end of 2022, so be sure to be on the lookout!
The Happy Curmudgeons
The Happy Curmudgeons are a group of musicians mainly based in the metro Detroit area. Their music features some very special guests on different tracks. Dave Hamilton founded the band in 2015 with the other three core members - Amy Dixon-Lavery, Jeff Warner & Tumbleweed. The band won a 2020 W.A.M. Best Song music award for 2nd Chances in the American/folk category. The Happy Curmudgeons also finished second in the same category with their song, I Know How You Feel, last year. The band is continuing to work with the producer, Mark Byerly. The Happy Curmudgeons hope to have their 2nd album out by the end of 2022.